Dachser air & sea freight business saw growth of 5.2%, road business declines by 2.2%

Seeing a slight decrease of 0.9 per cent compared to the previous year, Dachser’s consolidated net revenue totaled EUR 5.61 billion. In contrast to the decline of 2.2 per cent in the road logistics business field, the air & sea logistics business field saw growth of 5.2 per cent. The business field benefited from having airfreight charter capacity of its own as well as from high freight rates for intercontinental transport. At the Group level, the number of shipments dropped by 2.5 per cent to 78.6 million, while tonnage fell by 2.9 per cent to 39.8 million metric tonnes.
“We have delivered on our promise to be a rock of stability during the coronavirus crisis,” says, Burkhard Eling, CEO, Dachser. The compny kept its customers’ global supply chains running without interruption and came up with flexible solutions to capacity bottlenecks, particularly on intercontinental freight services. At the same time, the company provided the best possible protection for its employees’ health and supported its longstanding service partners in Europe.
“Following a solid first quarter, the lockdowns in many European countries meant sometimes drastic declines in overland transport shipments,” says Eling. He adds, “There was a clear improvement by June, however, with volumes remaining more or less consistently above 2019 levels. Our business model has proved that it can withstand crises, at the same time boasting strong growth potential and adaptability.”
Revenue at the air & sea logistics business field benefited from the shortages in air and sea freight capacity, and the corresponding rise in freight rates, throughout 2020. Buoyed by its activities in Asia, the business field upped its revenue by 5.2 per cent to a total of EUR 1.2 billion. “We responded swiftly to the bottlenecks in air freight capacity by chartering aircraft to expand our own capacity, initially for medical supplies, later also transporting other goods for our customers. Overall, we operated around 150 charter flights between Europe, Asia, and the US during 2020,” Eling says.
The sea freight situation was no better, with scarce capacity and the acute lack of empty containers resulting in a volatile market and soaring freight rates. The LCL routes, known as “ocean groupage,” benefited in particular from this development. “Given the great potential we see for this premium service, we aim to further enhance the frequency, capacity, and quality of our LCL routes and push ahead with connecting them seamlessly to our European groupage network,” Eling says.
Dachser’s road logistics business field; comprising the transport and warehousing of industrial and consumer goods (European Logistics) and food (Food Logistics)—once again lost none of its growth momentum in 2020. However, even by the end of the year, it was impossible to fully compensate for lockdown-driven reductions in European volume in April and May, with the European Logistics business units in France and on the Iberian Peninsula the hardest hit. This caused the consolidated net revenue of the Road Logistics business field to drop by 2.2 per cent to approximately EUR 4.5 billion.
While the European Logistics business line saw a decline of 3.2 per cent to EUR 3.52 billion, Dachser Food Logistics upped its revenue to EUR 982 million, an increase of 1.9 percent. This business line faced a relatively turbulent 2020, marked on the one hand by panic buying in supermarkets and on the other by repeated closures in the catering, hospitality, and events industries in Germany. Nonetheless, it managed to make up for the decline in shipments in these sectors by acquiring new accounts and obtaining larger volumes of business from food retailers. Over the course of the year, Dachser Food Logistics increased the tonnage transported by 1.6 percent.